From Simple to Suite: Remodeling the Garage

When a homeowner decides to remodel a garage, they often have definite ideas in mind for its use. Whether it is attached or unattached, the garage renovation can create anything from a storage room to a living area.


Either way, repurposing the garage will change a home’s dynamic. If the space is for additional household members or renters, new people mean new experiences and change. If the area is going to be for more communal space or even storage, that will also change the current household use. 

Home value

While the extra square footage can add significantly to your home value, it can also pose a problem during resale if virtually all of the other homes on the block have a garage, whether they use them to park their cars or not*. 

Goals and priorities

The homeowner should first meet with the contractor to discuss the overall goals in converting the space, as each scenario offers different building, wiring, gas, and HVAC needs.  Sometimes a new garage or carport can be introduced as part of the remodeling plan. 

Not a garage!

One of the goals of the contractor will be to make the old garage look like it wasn’t ever a garage. Face it; once the living space is completed, it’s undesirable for it to look like an old garage.


If the garage is unattached,  the need for water, power, and gas will have to be addressed. Utilities are more accessible to run to an attached garage, but, keep in mind, there may be code restrictions on what can and can’t be done.

The unattached garage is the perfect place to run a ductless mini-split system, particularly if the space is going to be used as living space. Likewise, the electrical panel may need to be upgraded.

Additional considerations

Fixtures, insulation, security and other elements have to also be worked into the plan. The walls and ceiling and floor may have to be insulated. Doors and windows will have to be added. The garage door will have to be replaced with a stud wall. The partition wall will have to be opened up if it’s going to become part of an open floor plan to the main house. 

*82% of households have two-car garages or larger, but only 15% use them as a place to park the car.

*82% of households have two-car garages or larger, but only 15% use them as a place to park the car.

What about the cars?

The new location for parking the cars is an essential consideration for a couple of reasons. The first is because many HOAs prohibit overnight parking in the street, which means the vehicles will have to remain on the property at night. Leaving them in the driveway will age them at a faster rate and leave them more exposed to things like vandalism and theft. Security can also be an issue if the homeowner opts for a carport. The upside of adding a carport is that the driveway doesn’t end at a wall.

What about the rest of the garage’s contents?

Before construction begins, a plan must be in place for the vehicles and the contents of the garage. As previously mentioned, many people use their garage for storage of personal items instead of cars. If there is a water heater, water softener or other appliances, those have to be managed.

If you’re considering remodeling your garage into a living space, it’s incredibly worthwhile to plan your options with a contractor, who will know the local codes, have fresh, innovative ideas to get the most out of the remodel project and be able to provide a range of options and costs.

If you're considering remodeling in the Phoenix area, call us at Arizona Certified Remodeling 602-478-9492. Or contact us online at

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